PUDUKKOTTAI: Following public outcry, Tamil name board has been installed at the main entrance of the Pudukkottai railway station, replacing a Hindi board.
Railway officials replaced the Tamil board with a Hindi name board, a few months ago. Coming to know of this, S Ramadas of Sembattividuthi, the district organizer of Makka Pathai (People’s Path) submitted a petition with the superintendent of police, S Selvaraj in September, 2017, seeking steps to replace the
Tamil board immediately, so that protests could be avoided. Later, several petitions were submitted to the district collector in this regard. Functionaries of Naam Tamilar Katchi, CPML and other small outfits also sent petitions to railway authorities. Also, the functionaries of Makkal Pathai sent petitions to Tamil Development Department, Pudukkottai and also to the railways.
The issue resonated in social media, where several people expressed opposition to the Hindi name board. As a result of mounting pressure from the public and collective efforts taken by the outfits, railway authorities replaced the Hindi name board with Tamil name board.
Speaking to Express, S Ramadas, hailed the decisoin as a victory to the Pudukkottai residents. “The unacceptable act of railways bringing Hindi name to the prominent place upset residents. It was like degrading the Tamil language in its own land. Hence, I submitted the petitions to SP and district collector earlier. And then a petition to the railway authorities, in which we pointed out the rule which clearly stated that the station name boards shall be exhibited in the order of regional language, Hindi and English. Now, they have given Tamil name board prominence.”
According to Pudukkottai railway station officials said, on condition of anonymity, “All the decisions were taken by higher-ups. We don’t know the reasons behind the decisions.” Pudukkottai played a prominent role in 1960s’ anti-Hindi agitation.
Blast from past
It may be recalled that Pudukkottai played a significant role in Tamil language struggle in the 1960s. During the struggle, two youngsters, ‘Viralimalai’ Shanmugam and ‘Keeranur’ Muthu sacrificed their lives to register their opposition to imposition of Hindi